The URL for this blog comes from "Cypress Grove Blues", one of the best songs from the great delta blues singer Skip James. James recorded this in the early 1930's. His records from this period are among the rarest of all records; only a handful survive of each. James's career was revived in the 1960's as part of the the great rediscovery of several significant blues performers from this era. He recorded several LP's at this time, but to me, while they are well worth hearing, they lack the power and intensity of James's earlier work.
Here is "Cypress Grove Blues"
Geeshie Wiley's "Last Kind Words" is one of my favorite blues records. Haunting, somber, and intense, it was recorded in 1930, and is also extremely rare. Wiley and James recorded for the legendary Paramount record label, owned by a furniture manufacturer in Grafton, Wisconsin. There will be a post on the Paramount label at some point.
"Mississippi" John Hurt was another great blues musician of the 1920's. His records, while still very difficult to find, are not quite as rare as the Skip James or Geeshie Wiley recordings from this period. They have a much softer, gentler sound. Hurt was also rediscovered in the 1960;'s. Here is his variation of "John Henry", called "Spike Driver Blues".
James, Wiley,and Hurt were all from the Mississippi Delta, but country blues recordings were made in hte1920's and 1930's throughout the South. The musicians Pink Anderson and Floyd Council were associated with the Piedmont style of the blues. Syd Barrett took the name "Pink Floyd" from Anderson and Council.
Pink Anderson was born in Lauren, South Carolina in 1900. He spent much of his life. touring with medicine shows. . Although he also recorded in the early 1960's, His most interesting performances are the duets he recorded with Simmie Dooley in 1928.
Here is CC & O Blues.
Floyd Council was born in Chapel Hill, North Carolina in 1937. He was featured on several recordings, and also backed up Blind Boy Fuller.
Here is "Runaway Man Blues" by Floyd "Dipper Boy" Council, , from 1937.
Wikipedia articles on Pink Anderson and Floyd Council:
The next post will be on folk taxonomy.